Plan to grow space for rising population

The Ministry of National Development on Thursday released a Land Use plan detailing how it will find space to build 700,000 new homes for a projected population of 6.9 million in 2030.

It plans to build up new towns in Bidadari, Tengah and Tampines North - which will together contain about 90,000 new homes - while continuing to grow Punggol.

More housing units will be added to existing mature estates, while new residential zones will develop in central areas like the former Bukit Turf Club, Kallang Riverside, Keppel and Bukit Brown.

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The Land Use plan promises that each of these estates will come with a full range of amenities from hawker centres to recreational and green spaces. By 2017, it said, there will be 20,000 new childcare places near homes, up from 92,000 today.

To house 6.9 million people, the plan projects that Singapore will need an additional 5,600 hectares of land by 2030.

This extra land will be found partly through reclaiming additional land and developing some reserve land.

But the Government will also move to "recycle land" that is currently not being used intensely. For example, it will take back the land that some golf courses are on when their leases are up for re-development.

The Ministry of Defence's activities will also be consolidated on Pulau Tekong, freeing up the space it currently uses on the Singapore mainland for development.

The paper also takes pains to assure Singaporeans that the country will remain a "garden city". MND is setting a goal of having 85 per cent of Singaporeans within a 10 to 15 minute walk from a park by 2030.

By then, it said, about 900 hectares of reservoir and 100km of waterways will be open for recreational activities.

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